A NEW amber weather warning for heavy rain has been issued by the Met Office as Storm Alex batters the country.

The warning will be in force between 12pm on Saturday and 6am on Sunday for Bournemouth, Christchurch, Poole and the rest of Dorset.

The Met Office says many places will see between 25 to 50mm of rainfall with potential for as much as 70 to 90mm of rainfall in some parts of the south west.

A Met Office spokesperson said: “A band of rain will become slow moving and heavy across Wales, the West Midlands and into southwest England. This is likely to bring flooding and some disruption to travel.

"Many places will see 25-50 mm of rainfall, with totals of 70-90 mm expected over higher ground of Wales and southwest England as well as the potential for over 120 mm in some of the most exposed high ground of Snowdonia and Exmoor.

The spokesperson added: “The unusual wind direction associated with the rainfall will mean that the peak rainfall totals are likely to occur in some areas that are usually well sheltered and drier during unsettled spells of weather.”

In terms of what to expect, the Met Office says:

  • Homes and businesses are likely to be flooded, causing damage to some buildings
  • Fast flowing or deep floodwater is likely, causing danger to life
  • Delays and some cancellations to train and bus services are likely
  • Spray and flooding probably leading to difficult driving conditions and some road closures
  • A good chance some communities cut off by flooded roads

Today has already seen flooding in places with a stretch of the A35 at Dorchester closed since the early hours of this morning.

The road was closed by police at around 3am.

Police in Purbeck are urging people to stay away from Swanage seafront due to “tidal surges” and roads in the town centre have been closed due to flooding.